Tag Archives: income

Work to live, live to work

29 Sep

I haven’t posted in a while as I started a new job in September. A professional start to a career that I had been waiting for since I graduated from university… the first time around in 2010.

I was talking to my mechanic when I went to collect my car, we got into a discussion about starting my new job, and not having much time to fit in bringing my car for a service. My mechanic is a Christian and started to discuss how we live our lives for man-made concepts, and the way God intended for us to live with our family’s enjoying nature and not for money.

This made me think about the circular motion we tend to live our lives. We want to live well, we want to enjoy our lives, as much as we like to say the best things in life are free, there are plenty people who would disagree. I used to work in a place where there were groups of homeless people living in the garages behind the shop. They had company, they had people that cared about them, but they could not eat when they were hungry, they could not be warm in the cold, one of which died during the winter, many resorted to drugs because of the depression. To live life, comfortably, with enjoyment we need money. To get money we need a decent job, we hunt and we search and we’re filled with misery until we achieve our goal. Finally you get there, you get the job you’ve been dreaming of, the job with the good salary you wanted. You wake up in the morning 7 am to get ready to start your day, you finish work 5 pm and have an hour of travelling in rush hour to get home. You get home about 6 or 7 pm have your dinner, and you’re knackered, so you start the process to get ready for bed. Got to be awake early for work tomorrow! You work 5-6 days a week, when you get your days off, you had a couple of things hanging over from work that you need to catch up with so you think, oh I’ll just get it done over the weekend. You’re tired and drained, maybe I’ll just stay in and relax this weekend.  You have the house, you have a car for the convenience, you have a disposable income for your leisure, but you don’t have time. You barely have time to spend time in your house and enjoy the things you purchase in it, you don’t have time to use your car at your leisure besides the commute from work, the appointments and chores over the weekend because you don’t have time in the week. You have no time to go out and enjoy your money.

Maybe I should reduce my hours, get a less demanding job? I’ll have more time to enjoy these things, but with less hours, less responsibility comes less money. The kind that just gets you by, you now have time, but you don’t have the disposable income, all your money pays for necessities. You can’t live the life you want to live and enjoy the things you want to enjoy and treat your family the way you want to, because you don’t have the money. So the circle continues…

The more disposable time we have, the less disposable income we have to enjoy it, the more disposable income we have the less time we have to enjoy it. A large majority of people spend the largest percentage of their time in their workplace, we work to be able to live and end up living to work. The catch 22 of our world.

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Benefit cap?

20 Jul

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I am writing to express my astonishment with the discovery of how much you can actually get on benefits, with the new benefit cap bringing this to light. Understanding the tax system tends to be quite complicated for the average individual so I apologise if I have misunderstood.

I agree and appreciate the need for a benefit cap and commend the government on implementing this concept, however was amazed to discover that people can receive up to £26,000 per annum on benefits and that prior to this cap they were entitled to even more.  After years of studies incurring debt and several jobs that did not require professional qualifications, I have finally been given the opportunity to take a step towards beginning my career with what I believe to be good starting salary. That however is my annual salary prior to paying for the several taxes I am required to pay, national insurance as well as paying back my student loan; therefore in reality my income will be significantly lower than the benefit cap and not that much more than the cap for individuals.  In consideration of the points stated I had still perceived that amount to be a good starting salary for someone with professional qualifications. Having been brought up on a council estate with a single mother on benefits and wanting a better life for myself, to now discover that if I had not studied, not incurred debt, not worked and simply lived on benefits, I could of received a similar if not higher amount than I will be on.

Considering that an individual on benefits does not need to pay tax or pays a significantly decreased amount on tax, someone on benefits can take home a better income than many with professional occupations.  I can imagine it is also quite disheartening to those who make the effort to work on minimum wage and low income jobs, to realise they would be better off financially if they had been on benefits. With this knowledge it is to no surprise that many people qualified and unqualified then choose to live on benefits.

I  had thought that perhaps there may be additional costs due to various illnesses for an individual on benefits that I may not be aware of, or considering larger family homes, which is why this figure has been decided upon, which I discovered was not the case.  I personally would be quite happy on £350- £500 a week for living at my own leisure. Does this not encourage people to receive long term benefits and discourage a need to seek employment?

If the maximum amount of benefits an individual can receive is of £26,000 per annum, I struggle to comprehend why anyone on a salary up to this figure is required to be taxed, technically paying for others to be on a higher income than themselves. Again if there is a misunderstanding based on my lack of comprehension I am happy for someone to correct me and help me understand.